A recent report evidencing domestic violence, ‘A Barrier to Family Law Legal Aid‘, has been published by a number of women’s rights charities which reveals that 6 out of 10 domestic violence victims are unable to get access to Legal Aid.
Since April 2013, Legal Aid rules have changed and require evidence of violence or abuse in order to obtain Legal Aid for Family Law cases. The women’s rights charities state that these new evidence requirements are too onerous for many people to meet.
Two surveys of 377 victims between 1st April – 31st July 2013 showed that 61% of women who had experienced or were experiencing domestic violence took no action in the Family Courts because they were unable to apply for Legal Aid. Of the rest, 28% paid a Solicitor to act for them privately and 16% represented themselves. Half of those women did not have the prescribed forms of evidence needed to access Family Law Legal Aid and 17% had to pay more than £50 to obtain copies of the required evidence and 38% had to wait longer than 2 weeks for copies of the evidence.
Although there are Legal Aid changes, Legal Aid is available to obtain protection from domestic violence, where evidence is not required. At Ringrose Law, we have a specialist team that is able and willing to assist victims of domestic violence and we are able to guide clients through the process of obtaining Legal Aid.
For more information contact our family law team in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Sleaford, Spalding and Newark.